Sunday, February 22, 2009

31 - Still Alice; Lisa Genova

I was thrilled when I received a review copy of Still Alice
by Lisa Genova
from Simon & many of my friends have been raving about this debut book: a heartbreaking account of a brilliant 51 year old woman stricken with early onset Alzheimer's disease.

I did not want to put this book down as I was immediately drawn into the story of Alice Howland. Alice is a Harvard Professor at the height of her career, a wife, and a mother of three adult children. The signs were gradual and initially attributed to stress, her hectic life, and menopause. It began with sporadic incidents: brief memory lapses, forgetting names of things or misplacing items, but when she gets lost in her own town she begins to believe it may be something more serious like a brain tumor. When she sees a medical professional and undergoes some testing, the diagnosis shocks Alice and everyone in he life. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that there is no cure, but only various pills and vitamins that could slow the diseases progression. From her diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease to her sad downward spiral, the reader feels every emotion as if they were Alice.

At one point Alice says she wishes she was told she has cancer, for at least she could fight that with chemo and radiation. She added that even if cancer is not cured, you get a chance to say goodbye to your loved ones. Sadly with Alzheimers you don't get a chance to say goodbye at the end, because is ravishes your mind and you are unable to recognize loved ones at the end.

The character of Alice is unforgettable and the story is so powerful. Although it might be a tough subject for some people to read about, it is certainly one that deserves widespread attention.Still Alice is a book is not be be missed.
A touching, unforgettable novel that reads like a memoir.

RATING - 5/5 - COMPLETED - 2/22/09


  1. I received a copy of this book as well, and admit I have been reluctant to start on it because of how close to home it touches. I have heard nothing but good things about it though and so definitely want to make an effort to give it a try.

    Thank you for your great review, Diane.

  2. I love books like that, they always make me cry. Thanks for the review.

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I have it in my stack...picking it up after I finish The Help

  4. I need to get this book! I have a Grandpa with Alzheimer's and think that mom and I would both enjoy it.

  5. I also just received a copy of this book as part of Reading Group Guide's 15th Anniversary contest. They gave 15 readers copies of 15 books, and this was one of them. I was confused at first as to whether this was a memoir instead of a novel. It really look good.

  6. I have seen ads for this book online, but I hadn't really known what it was about until reading your review. Now I really want to read this book! I have added it to my wishlist.

  7. Wow, it sounds very good. I am still hoping to get a copy, but if not, I saw it at the library this week and it will most certainly be on my to read list.


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